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Can Scalp Cooling Help You Keep Your Hair During Chemotherapy?
by April Maguire
Cancer is one of the most devastating diseases on the planet. While the illness itself can take your life, the treatment required to combat it can often take your dignity. Sadly, hair loss is a notorious side effect of chemotherapy, and it can leave cancer sufferers depressed and self-conscious as they embark on the most challenging fight of their lives.
But what if the hair loss associated with chemotherapy could be stopped? That is exactly the goal of the DigniCap cooling system, which is already changing people's lives for the better and is a welcomed addition to the battle against cancer.
Chemotherapy and Hair Loss
To understand how the DigniCap works, it's important to know how chemotherapy causes hair loss. In the most basic sense, chemotherapy is like poison the cancer cells, and while it is effective, it's not particularly intelligent. Chemotherapy drugs are designed to attack cells that grow and divide quickly, and unfortunately they can't distinguish between cancer cells and hair cells. As a result, chemotherapy patients usually start to experience hair loss after they begin treatment.
The DigniCap cooling system, however, has the ability to save hair follicles from these damaging chemo drugs. Developed by Swedish company Dignitana AB, the principle behind the DigniCap is fairly simple. During chemotherapy treatment, a tight-fitting cap is placed over the head, covering the hair follicles. This cap is then connected to a cooling unit, which pumps out a low-temperature liquid that cools the scalp. Amazingly, the cool temperature protects the follicles and keeps your hair them from falling out.
Does It Work?
According to experts, the DigniCap works in two different ways. First, the cool temperature causes the blood vessels in the scalp to shrink, so less of the harmful drug is absorbed into the follicles around the scalp. Secondly, the cooling cap lowers the metabolic rate of the follicles themselves, meaning that the chemotherapy drugs are less likely to target the hair cells.
Overall, studies have shown that DigniCap scalp cooling system works. In fact, in FDA clinical trials 70% of patients were able to keep at least 50% of their hair while on chemotherapy. These positive results led to the Food and Drug Administration clearing the DigniCap for use by patients who are receiving chemotherapy drugs as part of their cancer treatment.
Medical centers around the country are already taking notice. For example, the Mount Sinai Health System in New York recently adopted the DigniCap as part of their treatment routine. While there may be no way to make cancer treatment easy, the DigniCap is at least taking away one of the most annoying aspects of treatment, and it’s making patients’ lives just a little bit better in the process.
If you or someone you know would like more information about hair loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!